The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Signifor LAR in June 2018 for the treatment of people with Cushing’s disease who had an inadequate response to pituitary surgery or who were ineligible for surgery. The decision marked the first approval by the FDA of a pituitary-directed long-acting treatment shown to help lower cortisol levels and ease Cushing’s symptoms. The LAR in its name indicates that it’s a long-acting release formulation.
There is no known interaction between Signifor LAR and alcohol. However, because excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver and increases in the levels of liver enzymes have been observed in patients on Signifor LAR, those wishing to drink while taking the medication should discuss the issue with a healthcare professional.
In a clinical trial that supported the approval of Signifor LAR, reductions in urinary cortisol levels in Cushing’s disease patients were observed as early as within one month following treatment. However, every patient’s case is unique and responses to any therapy may vary. Patients should talk with their doctors about how Signifor LAR may help in their particular case.
The most common side effects associated with Signifor LAR in Cushing’s disease patients include high blood sugar, diabetes, gallstones, and diarrhea. Other adverse events commonly reported with the medication include pain in the stomach region, hair loss, cold-like symptoms, low blood sugar, back pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and high blood pressure. Before starting treatment, patients should ask their doctors about the side effects that may be expected with the medication’s use.
Weight gain is not a known side effect of Signifor LAR. Rather, a large proportion of patients experienced reductions in weight after starting on the medication. However, weight gain can be a symptom of uncontrolled Cushing’s disease, so patients who experience unexpected weight gain or other unanticipated side effects should let their healthcare team know.